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Call to Former Demotix Contributors

27th January, 2016

Michael Preston, LPB Welfare Officer writes:

Given the dramatic turn of events in regards to the acquisition of Demotix and Corbis by Getty/Visual China Group last week, the NUJ London Photographer’s Branch is looking to put together a late notice motion to be presented to the NUJ delegate conference and/or the NEC.

If you would like to feed your concerns into this please email: photo@creative19.com

Please indicate whether you are an NUJ member.

If you are an NUJ Member, the next meeting of the NUJ London Photographer’s Branch – 23rd February – will be discussing and considering the issues arising from the sale. Please see our website for details.

You can read more about the deal and its implications for Corbis and Demotix photographers here.

 

CHAIR’S REPORT TO THE AGM 2016

25th January, 2016

Coming to the end of my second year as LPB Branch Chairman,I can say it has been another difficult year for Press Photographers. More staff losses around the country, and a continuing increase in Journalists being asked to carry out professional photographers roles in taking photographs for publication.This is happening in provincial and National publications adding to the further demise of our profession, In my opinion.

I would ask the NUJ to be more vocal in supporting the roles of press photographers and journalists, recognising their individual skills to maintain the highest levels of professionalism in the industry. In failing to do so we can only expect a decline in standards, accuracy, and quality of content in our publications, and will lead to a loss of more membership to the NUJ.

Whilst the LPB branch began the year with a good mix of experienced and fresh new members to the committee, it very soon diminished to a few as some, mainly the newer, committee members resigned from their roles citing various reasons for their decisions. I am hoping the branch can remedy this as it is in the best interests of all members of the LPB and crucial to its survival to have a strong committee that can resolutely work together in harmony for the benefit of the LPB.

I would ask all LPB members reading this and who want it to continue, to consider getting more involved by putting themselves forward for the various roles on the committee, especially members who have some years of experience and understanding of working as a photojournalist /videographer with all its pitfalls and problems. We also need people with more administrative abilities to help balance the structure of the committee.

It is important to fight for the continuation of the LPB for the benefit of all photographers, especially in these current times of crisis. During 2016 Headland house will be undergoing a makeover, hoping to improve facilities and bringing the building up to date, causing some disruption for coming meetings, I suggest this might be a good time to reorganise and rebuild a committee with a more harmonious and solid structure in time for the reopening of Headland House. I would also suggest we reduce the committee membership to fewer positions, which we are able to fill, to enabling it to be more responsive and productive for the members. We hope to make Branch meetings more educational, informative, sociable and ultimately enjoyable for those attending. All of this is dependent on having a strong committee and members who are willing to get involved.

Some may or may not know that Larry Herman who has been very active and vocal in the branch has decided to stand down from committee after many years of activity, we wish him well and thank him for all the work he has put in. He will be difficult to replace but hopefully working together we can overcome any problems that may arise and strive to improve the running and administration of the LPB

I have over the year been working to improve relations and working conditions for Photographers/videographers with the Metropolitan police, this is an ongoing task but is showing signs of improvement with greater understanding and offers from them to improve their understanding and facilitate press photographers more often by working closer with NUJ representatives. In light of current crisis worldwide, Charlie Hebdo, and the Paris attacks it is more crucial than ever to maintain working relations with Police and security forces to maintain understanding and co operation with the press and crucially Photographers/videographers.

For the Coming year ahead, and once we rebuild the committee, continue with all the work that is being done to improve lives and conditions of working photographers. I would like to emphasise the problems of copyright ownership, moral rights and contract law. With the ever increasing freelance market these are the key issues that burden photographers and cause the most stress whilst trying to maintain a career. We should devote more time to discussing and ask the NUJ to work harder in finding solutions to these problems.

I am happy to continue as chairman if asked, but need support from membership to help build a balanced and committed, committee membership to push forward and attempt to make the changes that are needed.

John Rogers
Chairman LPB 2015

PHOTOGRAPHERS’ COUNCIL REPORT by Andrew Wiard

25th January, 2016

I’ve been asked to write a brief report on the work of the Photographers’ Council for London Photographers’ Branch, before tomorrow’s AGM, so here goes. Timely as we are just coming to the end of our two year term of office, the new Council to be elected by and take over immediately after this April’s Biennial Delegate Meeting.

The most important problem we have faced is the horrendous redundancies on local papers. We cannot ourselves stop redundancies. Only chapels can do that, and we welcome the decision of one local chapel’s reporters to refuse to pick up cameras doing our jobs, and hope more follow suit. While we have campaigned within the NUJ for protecting staff jobs we have also concentrated on trying to help those affected survive as freelances. In two ways – we have held two one day training sessions ( thank you John Toner ) introducing ex-staffers into the world of self-employment, and have just now produced a guide for visual journalists who are moving from staff to freelance, which will be available on the NUJ website.

Speaking of hacks with cameras, the Council has done its best to stop the NUJ giving them one day courses using iPhones (!) for photography and videography – did you know it only takes a day?? Talk about mixed messages – are we trying to save the jobs of staff photographers, or give them to reporters instead? I have to admit we have had limited success here, you’ll still see these courses advertised, but at least the NUJ has now taken one major step in the right direction. Professional training, launching serious videography courses, the real thing, which do run over several days. They are first rate, I know as I went on the pilot, but unfortunately not aimed specifically at photographers. The Council has – or rather, Paris member and videographer Nigel Dickinson has – designed just such a course for us, which we hope the NUJ will adopt in future.

In writing to NUJ photographers and videographers I am reminded that I and other Council members face great difficulty even talking to all our members. And, likewise, they to us. We had intended to launch a website, but were told in no uncertain terms that that is NOT allowed in the NUJ! Excuse me? LPB can run a website, London Freelance Branch can run website – but the Photographers’ Council can’t? As running, and not just running, but regularly updating a website takes a lot of time and energy, we have yet to put this idiocy to the test. Meanwhile we have set up a Facebook Group, Union Photographers and Videographers, but that won’t pick up participants as fast as a website would.

Fact is this Council is a new organisation and we are still finding our feet. We are all working photographers/videographers, which is why this Council works, and also why it almost doesn’t. It is clear that to function effectively we need a full time organiser dedicated to us alone. I should immediately add that we receive excellent support from our servicing officer Dominic Bascombe, and as freelances, which most of us are, we get far more than our fair share of Freelance Organiser John Toner’s and Assistant Organiser Pamela Morton’s time. Both, amongst many other things, recover thousands every year for photographers. Nonetheless we do need our own full-timer, but given the NEC’s diehard resistance to the creation of this Council in the first place, that could take some time. We also need adequate funding. The pitiful budget we receive covers little more than the cost of our quarterly meetings.

However despite this one major project is going ahead, thanks to the union’s Finance Committee, who are picking up the bill. That is a video produced by the NUJ for the Metropolitan Police to use in their media training of, mainly, new recruits. Prevention rather than cure here – the best, if rather a long term, policy. The Council put this out to tender through the NUJ, several bidders applied, Finance will decide on the winning submission, and we hope that in the not too distant future this video will be required viewing.

And we are getting other things done. We now have the NUJ seats on the British Photographic Council, where we have been recently discussing, amongst other things, BAPLA’s attempt to take a big chunk of our DACS money through its new front organisation, PICSEL. At the BPC or inside the NUJ, copyright problems — such as PICSEL, the British Library’s re-publication of Spare Rib online, or the Hyman plan for doing the same with dozens of other magazines, takes up an increasing amount of our time. We photographers do know what we are talking about, but when it comes to copyright NUJ decisions are unfortunately out of our hands. Exactly whose hands they are in is no longer clear. Copyright is of more importance to the economic survival of freelance photographers than to any other section of the Union’s membership. This was well understood in the eighties when we campaigned for the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988, but long since forgotten. Time now to remember, and while we as a Council are now at least being consulted, time we were once more the prime movers in NUJ copyright policy.

I could say much the same about the union’s press card policy – but I won’t launch into that one now. Or all the other discussions we’ve held over the past two years. I’ll just finish this by saying I think we’ve made a good start, and hope the incoming Council can get a lot further than we’ve got so far. Photographers in this union do need a voice.

DATES AND VENUES FOR LPB BRANCH COMMITTEE MEETINGS 2016

7th January, 2016

ALL MEETINGS START AT 6.00PM

The NUJ national office at Headland House will be undergoing a complete refurbishment and will be closed from the end of February through September.  Consequently, the LPB has had to find alternative meeting venues and are as follows:

 

BRANCH MEETINGS

26 JANUARY, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

23 FEBRUARY, The London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8UE

29 MARCH, The London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8UE

26 APRIL, The London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8UE

31 MAY, The London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8UE

28 JUNE, The London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8UE

26 JULY, The London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8UE

27 SEPTEMBER, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

25 OCTOBER, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

29 NOVEMBER, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

 

COMMITTEE MEETINGS

2 FEBRUARY, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

1 MARCH, The Queen’s Head, 66 Acton Street WC1X 9NB

5 APRIL, The Queen’s Head, 66 Acton Street WC1X 9NB

3 MAY, The Queen’s Head, 66 Acton Street WC1X 9NB

7 JUNE, The Queen’s Head, 66 Acton Street WC1X 9NB

5 JULY, The Queen’s Head, 66 Acton Street WC1X 9NB

6 SEPTEMBER, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

4 OCTOBER, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

1 NOVEMBER, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

6 DECEMBER, Headland House, 308/312 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8DP

 

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, 6.00pm 26 January 2016

7th January, 2016

The London Photographers’ Branch will hold its Annual General Meeting on 26 January at the NUJ national office, Headland House, 308 / 312 Gray’s Inn Road, WC1X 8DP. It will start at 6 pm sharp.   Any motions members want to discuss must be submitted by noon on 26 January. Please send them to: larry@larryherman.net.

It’s at the AGM when the activities for next year are broadly discussed and new Branch officers are elected to the committee. Any full branch member can be nominated for a post or can nominate themselves. This can be done prior to the AGM or during it. In addition, we have customarily also elected two, three or four additional members to offer general support. Temporary and Student members cannot hold a formal position, but in the past have been co-opted onto the committee in a non-portfolio role.  Joining the committee is a great way of contributing to the running and success of the branch.  No experience is necessary.  If you are thinking of standing or would like more information, please email: larry@larryherman.net.

According to our Standing Orders (7) the following officers are elected:

  • chair
  • vice chair
  • secretary (to keep records and convene meetings)
  • membership and recruitment / retention officer
  • treasurer (responsible for the funds in the care of the branch and for keeping accounts (must over 18 years of age)
  • welfare officer ( A welfare officer to care for the interests of sick members and their spouses and liaise with  the NUJ Extra)
  • equality officer  (equality officer to promote equality issues and provide a focus for questions and  complaints arising from the code of conduct)
  • Union learning representative

We will also be electing our delegation to the next NUJ Delegates Meeting, which will be on 15, 16, 17 April and will take place in Southport.  The LPB is entitled to 4 delegates.

July Branch Meeting: 7/7 Ten Years On

21st July, 2015

Terrorist Suicide Bombing; Edgware Road Tube

6.00 pm Tuesday 28 July 2015, Headland House, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP

On July 7th 2005 branch member Edmond Terakopian took a selection of award winning images that came to define the events of that day.  A decade on we are extremely grateful to him for agreeing to speak at this month’s branch meeting, and look forward to welcoming him back. Edmond is considered by all across our industry to be at the top of his game, as well as being an expert in the field of teaching and presentation. This subject draws together many strands of our work, from covering live news events to the ethics of photographing the victims of violence and terrorism.

Usual time, usual place, see you there!

June Branch Meeting: Pitch & Deal

25th June, 2015

Branch-June2015-500

6.00 pm Tuesday 30 June 2015, Headland House, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP
This month’s meeting will focus on how to get more dosh from those troublesome entities otherwise known as ‘clients’.

Phil Sutcliffe has been in journalism for 45 years and runs a highly recommended 1 day course on this very subject. He will deliver the main points enabling us to get our monetary due and play our own small part in driving rates up. Phil says: “Freelancing is a business! This session will boil down the NUJ one-day course, Pitch & Deal*, to a few crucial points that could help you sell your pix and services to more clients at a better price – via quickfire tips, Q&A and impromptu role play.”

The full course is available in October here.

NUJ Condemns Compulsory Redundancy of Union Activist

5th June, 2015

Phil-Turner-500

Phil Turner at the scene of the South Asia Earthquake in 2005. He travelled there with a number of Pakistanis from Rotherham to report on the devastation that affected so many families in the North of England. Photo © Guy Smallman

The NUJ has condemned a move by the Rotherham Advertiser to impose compulsory redundancy on long term Father of Chapel and union activist Phil Turner. This move is being seen as blatant victimisation of an activist whom has helped his chapel win and retain many agreements over the past few decades. Messages of support for Phil whom has worked at the publication for 30 years have been flooding in. Read more on the NUJ website here.

His colleagues have responded to his victimisation with a unanimous vote for strike action. Staff will be out this coming Thursday, June 11th, for 24 hours. There will be a picket line and we encourage all local NUJ and trade union members to support it. There will also be a rally this Saturday, June 5th, which we ask people to attend.

At our June meeting the LPB committee agreed a £100.00 donation to the strike fund which has been sent to the branch secretary at the Rotherham Advertiser. A motion will be put before the branch later this month.

Messages of support should be sent to syorksnuj@hotmail.co.uk

May Branch Meeting: Photographers & The Law

20th May, 2015

May 2015_500

6.00 pm Tuesday 26 May 2015, Headland House, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1X 8DP

This month’s discussion will look at some of the legal issues faced by photographers and videographers as they go about their work.  As speakers we will have two eminent lawyers.  Gavin Millar QC is a noted specialist in all areas of media law, including defamation, privacy, breach of confidence, publishing contempts and reporting restrictions. He often represents media outlets, journalists and politicians in both civil and criminal proceedings.  Shamik Dutta specialises in pursuing civil claims and public law challenges against the police and in enforcing the rights of those subject to unlawful immigration detention and unlawful deportation. He also acts for the families of individuals who have died in police and prison service custody.

The discussion will be followed by other items of branch business.

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